The author trying on a wedding dress (but not THE dress) in November 2023. Courtesy of Elle Warren When I was a teenager, I tried to picture being married to a man one day. Each time, I saw a man and a woman in their early 30′s standing in a kitchen.

The sequence was silent, but the couple’s lips moved, each of their mouths making the shape for either language or laughter. The woman stood hunched over a mixing bowl while the man stood behind her, his hands poised to wrap around her midriff. It must have been an amalgamation of scenes I’d watched in movies.

The woman never looked like me — she was brunette. I never saw the man’s face. *** The night before my appointment to try on wedding dresses at a local boutique, I got a call from the sales assistant, Haley.

She had three things to say. Advertisement There would be champagne flutes in case I wanted to bring champagne (I didn’t). How many people would be coming with me (none)? And: What dress styles did I like? I panicked.

The store had already sent me their entire inventory via a Pinterest board, and per their instructions, I screenshotted the ones I liked and texted them. Advertisement I did not know the names of the styles I’d sent, and I resented the idea that I was supposed to. Haley told me she’d seen the screenshots.

“So, more of sweetheart necklines and A-line silhouettes?” she asked. “Um, yeah, I don’t know,” I said, “I think I just like what I like..

.” I felt the implication of a quest.

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